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Report recognises Council's efficiency and effectiveness

The efficiency and effectiveness of Bland Shire Council’s engineering services is equal to or better than surrounding and similar Councils, according to an independent report by Jeff Roorda and Associates.

Council recently commissioned Jeff Roorda and Associates to undertake a review of its Engineering Services and Works efficiency, particularly in relation to road maintenance work, to identify potential areas for improvement and benchmark its performance.

Bland Shire Council General Manager, Ray Smith, has welcomed key findings  that –

  • Council’s unit costs for renewal activities (resheeting and resealing) are at the lower end of comparable benchmark rates for Riverina Eastern Region Organisation of Councils (REROC), Riverina and Murray Region Organisation of Councils (RAMROC) and similar rural Councils indicating unit service costs are effective and efficient comparable with similar Councils.

  • Plant utilisation costs and plant management practices are good compared to similar Councils

  • Allocation of expenditure and work practices are comparable with similar Councils

  • There is a perception from what appears to be a small section of the community that Council service levels and efficiency is not satisfactory. This does not align with available evidence.

Increased costs, combined with frozen Federal funding and rate pegging restrictions imposed by the State Government has placed unprecedented pressure on Council to meet service levels and increasing community expectations in relation to the maintenance of its 3237 kilometre road network (the second largest of any Council in New South Wales).

The Commonwealth Government’s recent decision to freeze the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants and Roads to Recovery funding will cost Bland Shire an estimated $820,752 in grant funding which had been earmarked for local roads.

Mr Smith said the Jeff Roorda report is independent evidence that Council is working hard to achieve maximum efficiencies and outperforming many similar sized Councils around the state and region.

“Due to the size of Bland Shire’s road network and the insufficient funding received from the State and Federal Government, it is imperative that Council strive for maximum efficiencies to ensure we can get as much work done as possible from our very limited funding streams,” Mr Smith said.

“The report proves that Bland Shire Council is doing well at achieving efficiency and effectiveness, however there is still more work to be done and the consultant’s report has identified some potential areas for improvement.

“Council will look at each of these suggestions closely and continue to explore all avenues to increase both efficiency and effectiveness into the future.”